Zane, Jesus and the Rat Pack

Not that drinking isn’t easy, professional drinker and comedian Zane Lamprey has set off across the country on his Drinking Made Easy tour (53 cities/106 proof).

If it were a movie, it would be a buddy movie. If it were a buddy movie, it would be a drinking buddy movie, and that takes me back…

Lamprey, along with his college drinking comrade Steve McKenna and comedian Marc Ryan rolled into Minneapolis for a show at the Fine Line on June 20, and Wonderful Beer Wife and I made the trek to see what the buzz was about.

A blend of debauchery and education, the buzz was booze, and we enjoyed the show.

I had the chance to speak with Lamprey recently and I asked him if he’s caught much flak for the alco-boom resonating throughout his career path:

“I’m certainly conscious of it. You know, obviously there are people that take it to excess–we’re trying to get across the educational aspect of it.”

The live show, which supports Lamprey’s recent book Three Sheets: Drinking Made Easy,  juxtaposes drinking craziness with beer, wine and spirits tutorials. The tour pulls from all the wisdom absorbed into the bloodstream during four seasons of shooting  Three Sheets all over the world. “The objective is to learn and now that I’ve acquired a certain amount of information,” said Lamprey. “It’s my job to entertain and, if I can, educate just a little bit.”

Though it holds a rabid fan-base, Three Sheets has been plagued by folding networks, but the entire catalogue was recently picked up by the Travel Channel. According to Lamprey, the Travel Channel will see how it does and promote it. “If it goes as they expect it to, then we’ll start discussing shooting more seasons of it,” he said. “The window has opened for more Three Sheets. I was about to throw in the towel, myself.”

Working hard and keeping a backup plan, Lamprey’s shooting another show in conjunction with the comedy tour: Drinking Made Easy, which will premier in the fall on HDNet. According to Lamprey, it’s the domestic version of Three Sheets. Partnering with his correspondents McKenna and Ryan, describes long days on the road. “During the day, we’re shooting a TV show and we’re out here doing standup at night, so it’s been a very wild ride to say the least.”

But what about brewvana? What’s that look like for Zane Lamprey?

“I’m a beer guy, so I always like to go into a bar and try something I’ve never tried before. There are so many craft beers out there. It’s amazing that, generally, every time I pull into a city there’s something I’ve never had before,” he said. “There are the four staple ingredients in beer, which people can manipulate, in a good way, to get a myriad of different flavors and styles and textures and everything, which is amazing.”

But it’s not all Dark Lord and Westy. Lamprey, who’s developing a signature beer called Pleeplius, after his mascot, is content with a beer that requires little thought. “As far as just reaching for a beer or something I have to drink everyday, it would be a light beer. I like beer. I like the taste of it. I like a lighter alcohol percentage and I like something–if I have to drink something every day or what I drink when I’m home on a regular basis if I’m watching TV or doing some work–it’s going to be a light beer. Just a light lager–something that I don’t have to think about.”

Lamprey once found himself justifying his response to a similar question asked by an NPR interviewer: “Sometimes you just want a dumb beer. You don’t always want something that’s so complex. I’ll just reach for whatever’s in the fridge.”

As our conversation swirled from perfect beers to drinking companions, Lamprey pondered the thought. “[If I could share beers with anyone in history, living or dead] I would have a beer with Jesus. I would have a beer with Frank Sinatra. You know let’s just have me, Jesus and the Rat Pack”

Wielding bottles of Pleeplius on stage foreshadows the beer of choice. “I’m hoping to have it out by wintertime,” said Lamprey. “Which is the perfect time to release a lager,” he cracked. Currently working on production and distribution tidbits, Lamprey will need to produce a fair amount if he keeps McKenna on the road with him.

While McKenna did a short set during the show, his real schtick was pounding the Pleeplius–which he did by the six  pack. After all that work, he had to reach for another. Ryan provided comedic ballast to McKenna’s drunk guy role and the whole package, with Lamprey at the helm, made for a good night’s entertainment.

One Response to Zane, Jesus and the Rat Pack

  1. Brandon says:

    I’m so bummed I missed Zane when he made his way to Phoenix. He was at the worst venue in town, standing room only. Not because it was awesome, but because they don’t have chairs!

    I hope he comes back. I’m willing to stand if that is what I have to do.

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